“Health and wellness are here to stay,” shared Dawn Foods’ Chief Executive Officer, Carrie Jones-Barber, at a panel presentation earlier this month, hosted by the American Bakers Association at its annual convention.
Carrie joined a distinguished panel of experts and provided her perspective on what’s driving growth within the bakery industry. Moderator and longtime Nielsen veteran, Todd Hale, kicked off the session with an overview of the state of the industry, noting bakery continues to deliver strong sales – to the tune of $50 billion annually. Additionally, sweet goods continue to drive gains – including demand for indulgences.
When asked how diverse needs like health and wellness versus indulgence will drive future innovation efforts, Carrie pointed out that “consumers want it all.” To effectively compete, suppliers and manufacturers must ensure they’re meeting both. After all, consumers want to enjoy the foods they eat AND feel good about them.
For example, adding ingredients with nutritional benefits like nuts, seeds, alternative grains (such as quinoa and barley) and Greek yogurt, are easy ways to create sweet baked goods that delight consumers’ desire for fuel and great taste.
Dawn’s global team of dedicated Market Research and Insights experts spent the last three years researching the consumer trends landscape, pouring through data, visiting bakeries of all sizes and observing everyday consumer behavior from around the world. Based on this research – and analysis of more than 100 data sources and more than 85 marketplace products and services from around the world – Dawn uncovered eight trends, which embody both ends of the spectrum, including:
Simple & Pure: consumers crave a no-fuss approach to eating with pragmatic principles: Eat real food, made with familiar, wholesome ingredients.
Luxury Found: Busy, nonstop lifestyles and the constantly plugged-in mentality, lead consumers to crave “me time”. In an effort to unwind and escape with a special reward, consumers often seek decadent products with the finest ingredients to satisfy their need for indulgence.
Product versatility is another way bakers can drive growth. As Carrie explained, this versatility allows customers to create multiple products driven from one formula and delivers valuable ROI. Specifically, the right product versatility can reduce costs, create product flexibility and variation that help meet consumer demand and ultimately, drive continued growth. Dawn’s own Creme Cake Base is a classic example. This one product provides many applications, including muffins, ring cakes, loaf cakes, cake layers, cupcakes, whoopie pies and many more!
During the panel Carrie also emphasized Dawn’s commitment to working hand in hand with its customers as partners to meet these needs head on – whether bringing Dawn’s team of technical experts to customers’ front door or inviting customers’ teams to Jackson, Mich., to test new products in Dawn’s state-of-the-art Innovation Studio.
Following the ABA panel, one thing was abundantly clear – bakery has a bright future ahead and many opportunities for continued innovation.
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